This is, very possibly, my favorite day of the year.
After today, December seems to melt away like peppermint-cane ice cream left in a sunny window. No matter that it’s one of the longer months on the calendar!
I plan to give myself a Christmas gift: thirty minutes spent sitting in a favorite Long Beach coffeehouse, under the greenery and red bows that always decorate their rafters. And just watching December arrive.
This Christmas, my family is doing something fun. Instead of buying and shipping gifts to one another, most of us have agreed not to buy anything. If we have the money, we’ll give a donation to an organization instead, in honor of the people we love. (And some of us don’t have the money. That’s okay, too, or better than okay.)
“OK, I bought Jenny earrings worth $15. But Susan doesn’t wear earrings, and her bracelet only cost $11. What can I get her to even it out? This star ornament? Will Jenny care that Susan gets two gifts, while she only has one? Better get one more for Jenny, maybe a smaller ornament to go with Susan’s larger one…”
In writing, and put in as many words, that really looks ridiculous!
The whole idea, is that Jenny and Susan are special enough to express that they are loved. Taking time to select gifts that remind me of them, is one of many ways to communicate that. But it’s easy to fall into the trap of somehow thinking that how much we spend, equals the amount of love!
What I treasure about today won’t be measurable in money. It’s a gloriously sunny day in Long Beach. My bus will go past the marina, with its views of the ocean in the distance. There are going to be all kinds of imaginative decorations in my favorite small business, which features the work of all kinds of independent artists. And as the sun sets, I get to go home to someone I love.
On top of all that, it’s Giving Tuesday–and you’re rich if you can give to someone else.
A very Happy December first to you, and Merry Christmas! May it be a wonderful one.